Sunday, May 24, 2009

St. Winifred

I am not left even this;
I all my being have hacked in half with her neck: one part,
Reason, selfdisposal, choice of better or worse way,
Is corpse now, cannot change; my other self, this soul,
Life’s quick, this kínd, this kéen self-feeling,
With dreadful distillation of thoughts sour as blood,
Must all day long taste murder. What do nów then? Do? Nay,
Deed-bound I am; one deed treads all down here cramps all doing. What do? Not yield,
Not hope, not pray; despair; ay, that: brazen despair out,
Brave all, and take what comes—as here this rabble is come,
Whose bloods I reck no more of, no more rank with hers
Than sewers with sacred oils. Mankind, that mobs, comes. Come!

Are you not familiar with this text? It is from Act II of Hopkins’ St. Winifred’s Well. It is all dark and brooding as it is part of a monologue by the evil Caradoc, responsible for the murder of Winifred, whose head was severed for the crime of refusing his advances. It is a Medieval story which Hopkins takes up, but it is a not too uncommon thing even in our day.

Think of this: Caradoc strides onto the stage, bloodied, his sword stained crimson with Winifred’s essence. For what? For chastity?

Who suffers now for chastity? Certainly women and men, save that now the bloodied are the children in the womb and the doctors who, well-paid, sever the bodies of these modern innocents. It is a horrid thought, I know. But there is just something about all this intellectualizing and distinction-making and rhetorical pap that makes my stomach turn. Honestly, is it so difficult to understand human speech?

Caradoc understood precisely what he did. All his life, all of him is now stained with murder. He did not shy, either, from the consequence. Mankind, that mobs, comes. Come! Today we hide behind the verbiage of civility. Doug Kmiec says in chapter four of his book, page 48,

“Senator Obama is not pro-abortion, but instead tolerant of an existing legal structure that permits the mother to make the decision, while further pledging to work toward a more just social system devoted to encouraging a culture that is welcoming to life.”
Obama is “tolerant.” That word suggest that the actor who is tolerating considers the thing being tolerated as something bad. One does not, after all, tolerate a good. And yet, this is what Obama said on July 17, 2008 in front of members of Planned Parenthood,

“I have worked on these issues for decades now. I put Roe at the center of my lesson plan on reproductive freedom when I taught Constitutional Law. Not simply as a case about privacy but as part of the broader struggle for women’s equality.”
The right to abortion is at the center of Obama’s notion of reproductive freedom and Constitutionality. It is a part of women’s very equality with men. And, yet, Professor Kmiec says that Obama is not pro-abortion, he is tolerant of it.

Despair, ay, that; brazen despair out; for if someone as intelligent as Doug Kmiec cannot see the gratuitously simple truth that Obama is devoted to abortion as a fundamental right for women’s equality, and not as something merely to be tolerated, then, yes, brazen despair out. Mankind, that mobs, comes. Come! And bring legion with you, so that we can confront the devil straightforwardly and not get lost in the ruin of rhetoric.

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